Used Car Buying Factors You Might Be Overlooking


If you’re in the market for a vehicle, you’re probably pretty excited. Even if you’re opting for a used vehicle, it can still be a hefty financial obligation, and you have every right to be anxious.

However, your energy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using common sense while shopping. Even if you’ve done all the research and devoted plenty of time into the endeavor, there’s still probably some various elements that you failed to investigate. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Before you head down to your local used car dealership in Lexington, Kentucky check out our guide below. You may realize that you need to devote some more time to research, and that extra bit of information could be beneficial when it’s time to negotiate.

Depreciation Rate


This of course isn’t applicable if you plan on running your used car into the ground. However, this is very important if you’re hoping to get some value from your “new” car down the road. If this is the case, you’ll want to do some research into the depreciation rate of your desired vehicle.

According the value of a car automatically drops around 20% the moment you drive it off the lot. From there, the car will drop another 15% in value annually, and the rate will eventually slow down once you reach your fifth year.

While there’s no way to avoid depreciation of some sort, you can certainly do your part in making sure you’ll get maximum value when selling your vehicle. Keeping the car clean, trash-free, and devoid of smoke will certainly add some value when you’re looking to sell. To help ease the inevitable, leaving a down payment will help reduce the risk of owing more on the vehicle than it’s worth.

Of course, depreciation rates could benefit you while you’re searching for a new car. Research the resell value of the car you’re seeking, and use those figures as negotiating tools when you’re arguing over a final price.

Vehicle Complaints

We all do it. When we’re looking for a new vehicle, we focus on all the positives while determining our choice. Heated seats? A sun roof? That’s all some people need to hear while they’re searching for a new vehicle. Unfortunately, these people often ignore the negative reviews, and then they’re eventually disappointed with their decision.

It’s not essential to read every negative review, especially since some pundits may have a personal vendetta against a particular dealership, brand, or manufacturer. If you read enough of these reviews (preferably written by legitimate writers… not commenters), you should get a better idea of the negative features on a particular vehicle.Which negative reviews should you focus in on? To start, you can obviously avoid those who complain about the price or any of the specs, as that was information that was readily available to the buyer prior to their purchase. You can also avoid complaints about the vehicle’s aesthetics, as you can establish your own opinion when you check the car out.


If there seems to be a consistent mechanical issue, that’s when you should be taking note. It’s not easy to rely on the word of one online voice. However, if there are many of these voices preaching the same issue, that should alert you of some red flags.


Brand Certified

A brand-certified used car could present some benefits or negatives, depending on how you look at it. The certification essentially means that the manufacturer gave a used car athumps up, deeming it approved for resale. This isn’t required when selling a car, and it certainly does mean that you should ignore all non-certified used cars. While there’s no definitive data that suggests a certified used car is significantly superior to a non-certified car, you’re still essentially being assured that your used car will be dependable.

This assurance does mean that you should expect a higher price, however. estimates that auto manufacturers add “anywhere from two to eight-percent of the original used-car price for that used car sticker,” and those numbers could climb or drop depending on the model or brand.

If you have a desire to own a certified-used car but you don’t want to pay the potential fee that accompanies the designation, you could pursue the certification yourself. As explains, all you essentially need is an inspection and an extended warranty. Either way, having the car inspected prior to a purchase is a good idea. The process is somewhat subjective, so a certified-used car might not necessarily mean the vehicle’s working to it’s peak potential. If that’s the case, you could use the issues as a negotiating tactic.

This addition to the vehicle’s value often goes ignored as buyers attempt to price their potential purchase. You’ll often get some kind of indication from a car dealer when a car you’re looking at is certified, so you shouldn’t be worried about any hidden fees. However, it’s something to certainly keep in mind, and it’s a positive if it’s a concept you understand.

Estimated Repair Costs

Repairing a vehicle is inevitable and should be expected. If you’re trying to account for all of the variables that go into purchasing a car, repairs should certainly be on the list. It’s somewhat surprising that potential buyers will ignore this factor while searching for new cars.The “estimated repair cost” figure that accompanies a vehicle should give you some kind of indication into whether the vehicle will ultimately require some costly repairs. After all, some vehicles are more susceptible to breaking down, and this is an attribute that shouldn’t be ignored as you’re shopping for a car.


While it’s impossible to factor in random and freak accidents, you can still be prepared for some inevitable fixes. If you plan for these repairs, the financial toll won’t be as devastating, and you might get a nice monetary surprise if your car ultimately doesn’t need those expected repairs.

The next time you’re in the market for a used car, we hope you apply the lessons above. It’s always better to be overly prepared, and you don’t want your lack of knowledge to cost you money. Regardless, you’ll be saving some money if you buy from Dan Cummins Used, and the helpful staff will hook you up with your ideal car!